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“My Success Story” written by “Ms. Victorious Triumph”, a resident of Broward Housing Solutions (BHS®) in the Broward II Federal Program. The name is fictitious to protect the identity of the individual. “Ms. Triumph” lived in Birmingham, Alabama sleeping in abandoned cars and was addicted to drugs. When her mother died of congestive heart failure, she had to give up the apartment she lived in with her.

“Ms. Triumph” knew it was time to change her life but did not know how. One day, “Ms. Triumph” made a phone call to a friend in a recovery program who recommended that she contact someone from Shadowood II, Inc. in Broward County, Florida. Shadowood is a structured group home for homeless men and women who are living with HIV/AIDs and various life-threatening illnesses. “Ms. Triumph” met the eligibility requirements for the program because she has HIV. The bigger challenge was to find money for the bus fare to Florida. A collection was taken up for “Ms. Triumph” by an unknown source and she was on her way to recovery. After arriving in Broward County, “Ms. Triumph” met with a case manager who helped her move from homelessness to transitional housing. Nevertheless, it was not that easy.

“Ms. Triumph” was involved in a violent relationship that hospitalized her. She lost her apartment and job and had to return to Shadowood to complete the program again. Ms. Triumph, with the assistance of Legal Aid Service of Broward County, was referred to the Broward Housing Solutions and has been in the program since November 2011. Broward Housing Solutions provides quality, permanent and affordable housing opportunities to low income or homeless people with disabilities and who also have mental illness. “Ms. Triumph” was given stability, dignity and hope. She is a long time recovering addict, a dedicated church member, and volunteers at Steps for Change to encourage others and share her story. “Ms. Triumph’s” advice: “Be determined and love yourself. There is life beyond drugs.”

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